About Sean McAllister

Sean T. McAllister is an attorney specializing in the regulatory, health care, business, and religious freedom aspects of psychedelic medicines and therapies, including ketamine. 

His work in psychedelics has included: Advising doctors, therapists and licensed professionals on psychedelic-assisted therapy, including defense of licensure in disciplinary proceedings; Advising clients looking to obtain a religious exemption for the use of psychedelics; Drafter of Colorado’s Proposition 122 Natural Medicine Health Act; Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review Panel; General Counsel for the Zendo Project; Board of Directors for the Chacruna Institute; and Board of Directors of the Board of Psychedelic Medicine and Therapies. Sean is licensed to practice law in Colorado and California.

With over 24 years of practicing law, Sean McAllister has successfully handled thousands of important cases for clients, including:

Psychedelic Law
  • Representing therapists, doctors and similar licensed professionals interested in engaging in psychedelic-assisted therapy, including ketamine
  • Advised clients on what is allowed under Colorado’s Proposition 122, given Sean was a co-author of the measure and is participating in the state rule making process
  • Defending licensed professionals in disciplinary proceedings in front of state regulators related to psychedelic therapy
  • Advising training organizations on liability issues around training people to engage in psychedelic therapy or healing
  • Advising entrepreneurs on the legality of mushroom spores and other novel plant medicines such as Blue Lotus, amanita, and other substances
  • Advised clients looking to obtain a religious exemption from criminal law for the use of psychedelics under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, including co-counsel for two ayahuasca churches suing the DEA following the seizure of their sacrament
  • Seeking DEA licensure for companies to manufacture Schedule I drugs lawfully in the United States
  • Board of Directors of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines
  • Legal advisory to the Naropa University’s Psychedelic Assisted Therapy Certificate Program
  • Executive Officer of the Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review Panel, 2020.
  • Author of a book chapter on the law around ayahuasca in the U.S. The book is called “Religious Freedom and the Global Regulation of Ayahuasca,” edited by Bia Labate and Clancy Cavnar; available here.
  • Subcommittee Members of the Colorado Natural Medicine Advisory Board
  • Closed dozens of agreements to buy and sell business amounting to tens of millions of dollars in compliance with complex regulatory laws
  • Helped a company negotiate and close on licensing agreements with two major celebrities
  • Assisted companies in expanding to multiple states with intellectual property licensing agreements
  • Helping clients understand the complex tax rules that affect the cannabis industry, including IRS Code 280E
  • Negotiated resolutions to disputes among business owners
  • Successfully defended companies and individuals in state administrative rules violation proceedings
  • Successfully appealed the denial of a cannabis license by the City of Boulder
  • Represented a cannabis cultivation licensee in summary suspension case where the business was shut down and was able to get the company re-opened. No Colorado licensee had previously been summarily suspended and then re-opened
  • Represented a company through the first Colorado independent audit regarding alleged rules violations and resolved without the loss of license
  • Defended a pesticide recall case where state and local regulators agreed to release holds on millions of dollars of cannabis wrongfully designated as contaminated
  • Assisted in drafting of a USDA approved 2018 Farm Bill compliant tribal hemp plan
  • Petitioner DEA to reconsider a negative CBD rule prior to the passage of the Farm Bill
  • Petitioned DEA for a manufacturer’s license to produce cannabis for clinical trials
  • Represented an owner of a licensed grow in a breach of contract litigation, where the seller of the grow license argued our client failed to pay the purchase price. Prior to trial, the seller’s only offer was for our client to pay $900,000+ to settle the case. After trial, the judge awarded our client a $502,000+ in damages due to the seller’s breach
  • Represented dispensary owners where growers claimed to be owed money or promised ownership in exchange for their cultivation services. The verdict came back 100% in favor of the dispensary owner
  • Defended the nation’s first product liability case against an infused product manufacturer with a successful outcome;
  • Defended Colorado’s only federal criminal prosecution of a dispensary owner for federal money laundering/Bank Secrecy Act violations with a successful outcome
  • Defended a cannabis company in a Proposition 65 (cancer warning) lawsuit in California
  • Sued state regulators numerous times regarding due process violations in the administration of regulatory rules
  • Sued a state in order to get a Native American tribe the right to grow hemp prior to the passage of the Farm Bill
  • Handled numerous contested commercial litigation arbitrations, including an appeal of an arbitration decision
  • Achieved a complete dismissal of a claim against a dispensary owner that he engaged in securities fraud and racketeering activities, where the plaintiff was seeking $9 million dollars and eventually dismissed the case for no money
  • Won a contested receivership hearing for a cannabis company where a disgruntled investor was attempting to remove the company’s leadership based on allegations of mismanagement
Leadership and Awards
  • 2020 Cannabis Business Awards Cannabis Executive of the Year
  • 2017-2019, National Cannabis Industry Association, Board of Directors
  • 2018 MG Magazine, 30 Powerful Litigators You Should Know In Cannabis
  • 2016-2020 5280 Magazine, Recognized as a Top Marijuana Lawyer in Colorado
  • 2004-2012 Chairman of Board of Directors, Sensible Colorado, which assisted in drafting and running the Colorado initiative that legalized adult use cannabis in Colorado
  • 2019, 2015, and 2013 Cannabis MVP in Colorado, Cannabis Business Awards
  • 2012-2014 Spokesperson for Colorado NORML
  • 2009 Friend of Reform Award, Sensible Colorado
  • 2009 Gideon Award winner, from the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, for his pro bono defense of protesters.
  • Board of Director, Board of Psychedelic Medicine and Therapies
  • Board of Director, Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Medicines
  • Executive Officer of the Denver Psilocybin Policy Review Panel
  • Subcommittee Member on Colorado’s Natural Medicine Advisory Board
Pro Bono
  • Decriminalize Denver legal advisor for Measure 301 in 2019 that removed criminal penalties for the possession and cultivation of psilocybin in the city.
  • DUI Task Force Member, 2011-2012, Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice
  • Minority Cannabis Bar Association Criminal Record Sealing event 2018
  • Breckenridge Open Space Advisory Commission 2007-2009
  • Breckenridge Planning Commission 2009-2010
  • Represented protesters at the Democratic National Convention, 2008
  • Represented a Black Lives Matter protester, 2020
Sean McAllister

Sean McAllister